Big-game hunting: Hosts take on spirited Malaysia
Going with just one goalkeeper, skipper of the home side, Rajpal Singh has already announced his team is on a revenge mission as they take on potential giant-killers in Malaysia today. Showing Today: Super Tuesdayindia Updated: Oct 05, 2010 02:32 IST
The gleam of gold is alluring enough to make more than a hundred players push their skills and experience to the limit. Such is the level of competition in hockey in the Games that, while the champions will look to bully their way to the podium, the minnows too have the credentials to stage a coup in the league stages.
Traditional powerhouses England, Pakistan and India bank on timeless experience. The English, for instance, made it to the semifinals in the previous edition only to go down to Pakistan. They then squandered their chances of a bronze, losing to Malaysia. An improved performance nonetheless from the fifth position in the 2002 Games, Barry Middleton's side would hope to continue its upward spiral in the Games here.
Their 2006 tormentors, Pakistan, have been under the weather since the World Cup in February but will hope the team's fortunes change. The big test for Dutch coach Michel van Den, would be to prove that Pakistani still are a top side.
Captain Zeeshan Ashraf will galvanise his men even as there would be no dearth of fan support except, of course, when they play India. And the India-Pakistan match, scheduled for the 10th will be the thunderbolt. Going with just one goalkeeper, skipper of the home side, Rajpal Singh has already announced his team is on a revenge mission as they take on potential giant-killers in Malaysia today.